Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Friday, Aug 26, 2005
Google

New Delhi
News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |

New Delhi Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

World Bank rebuts Parivartan's charges

Staff Reporter

`Rather than casting shadow on WB's action, focus should be on betterment of Delhi's water supply'

NEW DELHI: The World Bank's Country Director for India, Michael F. Carter, has in his reply to a letter sent by Arvind Kejriwal of the Delhi-based NGO Parivartan to the President of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz, stated that "rather than propagating serious mischaracterisations of the World Bank's actions and intention, the interest of all citizens of Delhi, especially the poorest sections who so badly need and deserve access to a better and more reliable water supply, would be better served by focusing on the difficult substantive issues in Delhi's water supply and management that need to be overcome''.

Responding to the letter, Mr Carter has called upon Parivartan to write directly to the Bank's Department of Institutional Integrity in Washington to investigate its complaint of wrongdoing by Bank staff in the award of a contract by DJB to Price Waterhouse Coopers.

He has written that the presence of enormous talent and qualified professionals in India does not negate the fact that "Delhi Jal Board in its current mode of operation is unable to meet the water and wastewater needs of the people of Delhi, especially of Delhi's poorest citizens''. "Delhi with a per capital water availability of more than 200 litres per day is able to provide its citizens poor quality water for only a few hours a day; in Africa and West Asia there are cities that are able to provide 24-hour supply with less than 150 litres per day; and typically, European cities provide continuous supply with a per capital availability ranging from 150 to 200 litres,'' he wrote, adding that in this light the Bank is willing to support the Delhi Government and DJB in initiating the necessary reform process.

In response to Mr Kejriwal's assertion that "wherever similar Bank-initiated reforms were carried out in other developing countries, water tariffs skyrocketed, water quality deteriorated, water was diverted to amusement parks and hotels and supply to the poor was cut off as they could not afford water,'' Mr Carter hoped that Parivartan would substantiate the charges in the interest of transparency.

He claimed that while there have been failures, there have been many more successes and said the assessment can be found in the Bank's Operations Evaluation Department report No. 26443 of September 2003. Moreover, he said, according to the Private Participation in Infrastructure database, 53 low and middle-income countries had private activity in their water and sewerage sectors during 1990-2003.

In those countries, Mr Carter said, 261 water and sewerage projects reached financial closure and of these only five (or six per cent) projects, involving models not being proposed for Delhi, were either cancelled or under distress by 2003.

Reiterating that the World Bank, while bound by its own Disclosure Policy, will fully concur with any disclosure of documents decided upon by the Delhi Government under the Right to Information Act.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



New Delhi

News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary | Updates: Breaking News |


News Update


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2005, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu